With questions raised regarding fat and its place in our diet, studies have given hope to the possibilities of fats that can be beneficial to our bodies. While most fats work against us in our desire to lose weight and keep weight off, Medium Chain Triglycerides are completely different and actually have unique beneficial properties. The properties of these fats can be a key factor in weight loss.
What Are Medium Chain Triglycerides?
Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCTs, found in a variety of foods such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, milk, cheese, and yogurt, are fatty acids that act differently in the body than other oils and fats. They are easily broken down by the body without presenting the same issues as other forms of food, such as carbohydrates, which are usually always stored as fat. MCT oil offers another way of ingesting MCTs. Dosages can vary from 5 to 50mg daily.
MCTs are comprised of three fatty acids: Caproic acid, Caprylic acid, and Capric acid. These fatty acids have different properties that work together to help with a variety conditions. They were first used in the mid-1900s as a treatment for seizure disorders. They became popular in the 1970s to those in the sports world, as they have unique energy properties. As opposed to the negative effects of most other fats and oils, MCTs provide an energy boost without the adverse effects of insulin resistance and subsequent weight gain. They also have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.
A manuscript published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, cites a study of men and women aged 19 to 50 years old. The participants were not allowed to participate in any other weight loss programs for the duration of the study, which lasted 16 weeks. The conclusion stated that there were no adverse effects using medium chain triglycerides, and the outlook was favorable for MCTs as a viable option for effective weight loss.
Dr. Hans Kaunitz studied the properties of MCTs and the differences in performance between them and other fats. MCTs not only behave differently in how they are stored in the body, they also enhance fat burning, aid in ketosis and have a lower calorie count. Dr. Kaunitz speculated that those following certain diet plans, such as the Atkins Diet, would be able to stick with their diet when consuming MCTs. Ketones help provide energy to the brain, giving hope that MCTs can also help with such conditions as Alzheimers.
MCTs are not a miracle food. They will not magically create extreme weight loss. Some studies are less optimistic regarding weight loss with MCTs. In spite of these conclusions, there is still hope for those who need a new option for weight loss.